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Catriona Bolger Final Blog

Catriona Bloger signs off her year as an ITBA NG Apprentice at Tattersalls Ireland
14-August-17
Catriona Bolger Final Blog

My final apprenticeship is in Tattersalls Ireland in the Bloodstock office. Tattersalls is
an international firm offering over 13,000 horses each year at 32 sales at
Newmarket, Ascot and Cheltenham in UK and at Fairyhouse in Ireland.
Tattersalls has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of the industry’s leading names
both in the flat industry and the national hunt industry. I assisted Margaret O’Neill
Bloodstock Manger and Orla McKenna Bloodstock Administrator in the office. It took
a few days to settle in as working on a computer in an office was all new to me, but
thankfully Orla and Margaret were very patient and their mentoring and guidance
helped me to get the hang of the job.
I assist with entries and acknowledgments for both the August National Hunt Sale
and the September yearling sale. I worked at the Derby Sale where tasks varied
from vetting to working on the Sales day in the merchandise shop with Sarah Talbot.
That aspect of Customer Service in itself was a big learning curve. I dealt with
customers directly and assisted them in selecting the products they wanted and
completed the sale by taking payment. I thoroughly enjoyed working face to face with
leading clients/Buyers at the sale, which broke previous records. For Day I the
aggregate of €7,981,500 was an increase of 13% on 2016. The aggregate on Part II
of the sale of €2,042,200 is a record for the sale and a significant improvement of
41% on previous years. By the end of the Day 2 trade, 33 horses had sold for in
excess €100,000 over the two days.
Tattersalls is not only home to the thoroughbred but also holds an International
Event which was held during the second week of my placement. I assisted with the
set up for the event which involved helping to arrange the area for the merchant
stalls. In July a show was also held which had many classes from Showing and
Show-jumping to the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Series Qualifier. This
show was hugely successful. At this event, I was in charge of managing the stabling
which included taking payment and allocating the stables to the competitors.
This apprenticeship has allowed me to focus on and improve a different set of skills
from my previous placements. I am meeting customers face to face and talking to
them on the telephone as well, so I need to provide excellent customer service on
behalf of Tattersalls Ireland. Working behind the scenes on event management
requires office skills including good computer skills and attention to detail inputting
information into spreadsheets.
This is my first experience of working in an office environment in the equine industry
and I am delighted to have the opportunity to do so. It has given me great insight into
the event management side of the industry and gives me further options to consider
for my future career. I would like to thank Margaret, Orla and Roger Casey and all
the staff in Tattersalls Ireland for giving me the opportunities to expand my skills and

learn valuable knowledge. There is a great team within Tattersalls Ireland who all
work together and are very pleasant.
Overall, the Apprenticeship has opened my eyes to a whole other side of the
thoroughbred industry, from sales prep to the foaling of stock to the event
management side of the industry. Each part plays a huge role in the industry and
they all have key roles in making the industry so successful.
I would like to thank the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association for giving me the
opportunity to gain such valuable experience within the industry over the last year,
which has allowed me to improve my skills as well as gain some new ones. The year
has given me great insight into additional areas within the industry, and has flown by.
I have been very fortunate to work with the leading Associations in the industry and
have made some valuable contacts, which is all thanks to the ITBA. I look forward to
continuing to work within the thoroughbred industry and my skills and extensive
experience to date will allow me to travel and further my career at home and abroad.
I would like to wish Joanne Lavery and Lynne McLaughlin the very best of Luck in
the year ahead as the 2017 ITBA Next Generation Apprentices.

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